By: Hans Themistode
Jesse Rodriguez believed that slow and steady was the appropriate way to go about his career. Nevertheless, the former flyweight contender saw an opportunity too good to pass up.
With Srisaket Sor Rungisai forced to withdraw from his February 5th ring appearance due to illness, Rodriguez brazenly accepted a short notice opportunity against Carlos Cuadras for the vacant super flyweight title. Although the 22-year-old was initially taken aback by the offer, he eagerly accepted. As a result, Rodriguez made oddsmakers eat their words as he went on to dominate the former champion.
Following his victory, Rodriguez appeared unsure about his immediate future. While he thoroughly enjoyed being labeled as a world champion, Rodriguez expressed a desire to return to the flyweight division. After pondering his next move, however, Rodriguez has officially decided to retain his world title and continue his career as a full-fledged super flyweight. For the first defense of his newly won title, Rodriguez will take on the man who lost his original opportunity.
On June 25th, at the Tech Port Arena in San Antonio, Rodriguez and Rungvisai will battle in the main event. Considering the former multiple-time champion’s extensive resume, Rodriguez is well aware of the dangers Rungvisai presents. However, while he might be viewed as his stiffest test, Rodriguez is chomping at the bit.
“Fighting a guy like Rungvisai is going to bring me to a whole new level,” said Rodriguez. “He’s a great fighter but this is my time now. You have to take risks in this sport, that’s what special fighters do. They said it was a risk me challenging for a World title fight on short notice and now they say it’s a risk-taking on a fighter like Rungvisai but this is what I want. These are the types of fights you need so you can be remembered by the fans long after your career is done.”
Unsurprisingly, Rungvisai joined Rodriguez in his excitement. Prior to being forced to withdraw from his showdown against Cuadras, Rungvisai was the winner of three consecutive bouts, two of which came via stoppage. Ultimately, the end goal for the Thailand product is not only to reign once more as super flyweight champion but to forever etch his name in the history books.
“I am very excited for this opportunity to fight for the WBC World title,” said Rungvisai. “I will be at my best to win the WBC World title and become the first three times WBC World champion in the history of Thailand. Thank you so much to Matchroom, DAZN, and the WBC for this opportunity.”
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